Israel fires David’s Sling interceptors at Syrian missiles

JTA

The David’s Sling missile defense system undergoes a final round of tests on Dec. 21, 2015 in Israel. (AP Photo courtesy of Israel Ministry of Defense)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel for the first time fired the David’s Sling missile defense system, following the launch of two Syrian surface-to-surface missiles.

The missiles, carrying about a half a ton of explosives, fired on Monday morning as part of Syria’s long-running civil war, at first looked likely to land in northern Israel near the Sea of Galilee, which triggered the launch of the medium-range missile defense system.

One of the missiles abruptly changed course and landed in Syrian territory. The second rocket also landed in Syrian territory, according to reports.

The rockets set off Code Red alerts in communities throughout the Golan and northern Israel.

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Each David’s Sling interceptor missile costs around $200,000. In the last month, Patriot missiles have been fired twice in order to intercept unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, from Syria that entered Israeli airspace.

David’s Sling became operational in Israel in April 2017. It is intended to supplement the Iron Dome system, which targets short-range rockets, and the Arrow system for long-range ballistic missiles.

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